NFL Picks Week 14, 1:00 o’clock games

 

Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5), O/U (41.5)

Miami is 0 and 2 since 1995 when they play the Steelers in Pittsburgh. The Dolphins have a 2-6 record in their last 8 games against Pittsburgh and are on a 5 game losing streak against the Steelers overall. Ben Roethlisberger seems to have a knack for winning games late in the season at home when they mean something and the Steelers are 18-6 ATS at home over the past 24 games.

Gonna go with Pittsburgh here to cover the spread.
Take the under 41.5.

Cleveland Browns at New England Patriots (-10), O/U (45)

New England plays every team tough at home and are coming in on a 5 game winning streak at home. The Browns are 1-4 against the Patriots in their last 5 meetings and are 1-4 against the spread versus the Patriots in their last 5 matchups. Cleveland is going off a tough loss to the Jaguars at home and now have to go on the road against a tough opponent in the Patriots.

Gonna take New England to cover the 10 point spread.
4 out of the past 5 games between Cleveland and New England have gone over the line. Gotta go with the OVER here.

Kansas City Chiefs at Washington Redskins (+2.5), O/U (44)

Kansas City and Washington have both not fared well against the spread in their last 6 games going just 1 and 5 ATS. Washington is on a 5 game losing streak against the Chiefs and haven’t covered the spread in those games either. With the Redskins struggling not looking to make the playoffs and Kansas City looking to get back on track against at team that head coach Andy Reid knows well, I expect this game to get oit of hand rather quickly.

Got to take the Chiefs to cover the 2 points.
Chiefs have gone UNDER the line in 14 of their past 20 games and Washington has gone UNDER the line in 8 of its past 12 at home. All signs pointing to the UNDER here.

Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5), O/U (53)

Detroit has gone under the line in 4 of their last six road games and the Eagles have also gone under the line in 5 of their past 6 homes games. Philadelphia is coming in hot and are 6 and 1 against the Lions at home in their past seven meetings. Detroit has covered the spread in the past two games against Philadelphia and with both teams looking to make a run at the playoffs its going to be a tight game. This game is going to come down to a field goal.

With that I’m going with the Eagles to win this one at home but the Lions WILL COVER the 2.5 point spread.
both defenses have been playing well of late which leads me to believe this is going UNDER the 53 point line.

Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals (-5.5), O/U (44.5)

The Colts have beaten the Bengals 7 times in the last 8 meeting between the two and the Colts have covered the spread in those games 5 times. Cincinnati is just 2 and 6 against the spread when playing Indy at home in their last 8 meetings. The Bengals are coming off a 17 to 10 win over the Chargers in week 13 and they had their bye week during week 12. I think the Bengals are going to hit their stride this week and put up a bunch of points against the Colts defense through the air.

Take the Colts to cover the 5.5 in a low scoring game that will go UNDER the 44.5 point line.

Buffalo Bills at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.5), O/U (41.5)

Truly a toss up here with two rookie quarterbacks going head to head and two pretty good defenses both against the run and pass. EJ Manuel is heading back to the state where he spent his college career and will have a bunch of fans there pulling for him and that will play a factor in this game. Tampa Bay is 5 and 1 in their last six home games against the Bills and the Bills haven’t cover the spread in their past 5 games in Tampa Bay.

Gonna go with the Bills to win this game covering that 2.5 point spread.
The Bucs and the Bills have both gone OVER the line in 6 out of the last 8 games. Take the OVER again here.

Oakland Raiders at New York Jets (-3), O/U (41.5)

The Jets have played better of late at home this season going 4 and 2 in their past 6 home games. and are also 4 and 2 in their past 6 games against the Raiders. The Raiders will be relying on Rashad Jennings with Run DMC out with an ankle injury against the leagues best run defense so expect Matt McGloin to be throwing the ball a lot against a Jets secondary that has been struggling.

Gonna take the Raiders to COVER the spread in a nail biter with the Jets sneaking out the win but by less than 3 points.
It’s going to be a fast paced game with a lot of drives that end with long touchdowns so I’ve gotta go with the OVER 41.5 point line.

Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers (-3), O/U (46.5)

Atlanta has really struggled this year but they have picked it up of late and I believe that Mike smith’s team will finish the season strong. Green Bay is good at home but they are still without Aaron Rodgers and have been struggling to find the endzone on offense. I think that will continue this week for Green Bay’s offense and the Packers defense will have to try to find pay dirt somehow and keep Matt Ryan at bay. I like the Falcons to upset the Packers here and get a much needed win in regulation by a touchdown.

Take the Falcons against the spread.
Gonna have to go with the UNDER, as I don’t expect much scoring from the Packers offense but their defense will keep the Falcons offense under 30 points.

Minnesota Vikings at Baltimore Ravens (-6), O/U (42.5)

The Vikings have been playing surprisingly well in the past two weeks getting a win versus Chicago and tying with the Packers the week before that. Both of those games went into overtime. We could attest that to Minnesota’s defense and Adrian Peterson. The Ravens know that the Vikings are going to give AP a lot of touches and will probably challenge the Vikings wide receivers to beat them on the outside. Matt Cassel should be able to take advantage of the play action and hit his receivers and tight ends down the field. Baltimore has played really well at home all season but they haven’t scored that many points at home.

Gonna take the Ravens here to COVER the 6 point spread getting the win by a touchdown over Minnesota.
But I’m going to take the OVER on this 42.5 point line with both teams scoring into the twenties.

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Thursday Night Football Preview

The NFL regular season kicks off Thursday, September 6 at 8:30 with the Ravens heading to Denver to take on the Broncos in a rematch between two AFC heavyweights.

WOOO HOOO for Fantasy football being back!!!! That’s all I really care about anymore as a Jets fan. Now, what is going to make this game interesting is the star studded talent on the offensive side of the ball for Denver. The Broncos with Peyton Manning and his 12 disciples (Wes Welker, Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas, Knowshown Moreno, Ronnie Hillman, Montee Ball, Jacob Tamme, Julius Thomas, Ryan Clady, Adam Gase, John Elway, Jesus Christ, and Manny Ramirez (not that Manny Ramirez) are going to give the Raven’s defense a headache. Peyton will and has picked apart every defense in this league and Baltimore is no exception especially after the off-season where they saw two veteran and emotional leaders in Ray Lewis and Ed Reed depart from the team.  To go along with losing Lewis and Reed the Ravens lost key linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Paul Kruger to free agency, but they brought in Elvis Dumervil and Chris Canty to bolster up an already Pro Bowl studded line with Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata.  It’s going to be interesting to see how the Broncos offensive line deals with the Ravens defensive front seven specifically in the run game. Back to the Denver offense.

Wes Welker and Peyton Manning are going to take over this game.  I can’t imagine the Ravens putting LaDarius Webb on Wes Welker all game, Webb is going to have to take care of Demaryius Thomas on the outside.  That leaves Jimmy Smith covering Welker in the slot and that is going to be bad for the Ravens D.  Jimmy Smith doesn’t have a chance covering Welker in the slot and with Manning throwing the ball Smith really doesn’t have any chance at slowing him down.  Smith’s head will be spinning by the end of this game.

What I will be paying attention on the Broncos offense is the running back situation.  Adam Gase who is Denver’s offensive coordinator has said that the Broncos will use a running back by committee approach in their offense.  Montee Ball, Ronnie Hillman and Knowshown Moreno are the three backs that will make up Peyton Manning’s backfield and the playing time that they will get will be based on their production start the regular season.  I’m looking at this running back committee approach extra close to figure out which back will have the most productive play behind Manning in this first game.  The cream will rise to the top.  By the end of the Broncos first game I think the back that will stay at the bottom is Montee Ball.  Ball is a rookie and was a great runner in college and showed that he is a dynamic back out of the back field but it’s going to take a some time for him to warm up to NFL defenses.  Knowshown Moreno won’t rise all the way to the top but he will definitely be hovering around it.  Moreno reminds me of Joseph Addai when he played in Indianapolis with Manning.  Moreno is the best pass protector of the three backs but he’s not great by any means.  He can run between the tackles and catch a ball out out the backfield.  Moreno will be in for a lot of pass protection and that also takes time away from Ball.  The Denver back that will be the cream going into week two is Ronnie Hillman.  I believe in Ronnie Hillman.

I think that Hillman is the back that Peyton trusts the most.  Hillman learned a lot in his rookie season and with that Hillman has been able practice the hiccups in his game with an even better team this year.  I may be completely wrong but in my defense I’ve never claimed to have read the future.  Just a gut feeling.

Now onto what we’ll be seeing on the Baltimore offense. A couple of changes here, wide receiver Anquan Boldin went over to the 49ers, tight end Dennis Pitta is done for much of the year with a hip injury and the only other significant loss on offense was center Matt Birk.  Joe Flacco will have speedster Torrey Smith on the outside to work with and from there, progress together over the past two seasons, things are looking up for this connection.  Flacco can launch the deep ball and isn’t afraid to.  Smith is deceptively fast and his quickness compliments his size and speed. Let’s add in the fact that these guys have a great trust in each other and we get a thunderous combination.  I’m real high on Torrey Smith to have a breakout year this season.  Ray Rice will still be vacating the backfield for the Ravens and will share some time but not much with Bernard Pierce.  I’ve heard that Rice may be flanked out to the slot at some point this season to see what havoc he could cause there.  Rice’s size has always amazed me.  Rice is about 5 foot 7 inches and has always played bigger no matter the level.  I had friends on the defensive line in high school that were twice as big as me tell me that trying to tackle Rice is like tackling a chain chomp.  Rough.

Flacco will have to deal with the Denver pass rush that will be without Von Miller but is still a pretty damn good pass rush.  Second year defensive end Derek Wolfe and veteran Robert Ayers will be gunning for Flacco’s head all night.  I’d expect them to get at least three sacks between the two of them for the night.  Champ won’t be able to take care of Torrey Smith on the outside because of his injury but they have Dominque Rodgers Cromartie to put on Smith expect for some fire works as Rodgers-Cromartie has been known to get burned by quick receivers in his past.

Should be a great game to start the 2013 regular season.  All that matters is that football is back!!!!!!!!

Aaron Hernandez: Former NFL tight end, PCP addict, Murderer, and the boy who cried wolf.

In the recent Rolling Stone article, Bill Solotariff points out that Aaron Hernandez was a heavy angel dust user over the past year.  Hernandez may have been the best ‘fantasy’ tight end but at the end of all this lies a bigger issue, college football coaches protecting their most talented players from crime while leaving them uneducated and uncontrolled.  All superior athletes growing up in current day America get their ego’s “pumped up” on the regular, whether it’s 8 year old Johnnie kicking a field goal or 17 year old Darrell clobbering the freshmen quarterback; athletes are being taught that if they perform on the field that everything off the field will be taken care of and that’s not reality.  The athlete of the next generations needs to learn how to grow up in reality because I believe that right now there are too many coaches and institutions that worry too much about the dollar signs and fame that they receive from guarding the egos of their star players.

The boy who cried wolf is a simple lesson that I believe  youth football coaches need to take into account when they are dealing with their star players specifically regarding education.  You cannot just go through the education system and completely ignore the education you are being provided. This means you have someone ignoring the educational institution that provides a guideline for a successful life and that pays your coaches’ salaries.  These players who are crying wolf need to see that when they are face to face with the wolf they could yell and scream until they took their last gasp of air but no one will come save them.

Dilson Herrea to the Mets, Harvey to the DL

Herrea (left) a smaller second basemen could mean the Mets moving Daniel Murphy in a future trade.

Dilson Herrea to the Mets

Dilson Herrea (left) was traded to the Mets today for John Buck and Marlon Byrd.

For a Buck and a Byrd the Mets acquired Dilson Herrea and a player later to be named from the Pittsburgh Pirates minutes ago.  Does this mean that Sandy Alderson has a plan to use Daniel Murphy as future trade bait possibly this off season? The Mets need help all over the diamond and if trading Murph will get us two players that can start immediately I’m okay with sending him on his way.  I love Murph and I love the Mets but I think its time he goes to a team that will respect him.

And Matt Harvey was officially placed on the DL today.  Lets hope Wheeler can pick up where Harvey left off.

Roy Hibbert is filling out

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I’ll be honest I know that the NBA is months away but this is worthy of being looked at. Roy Hibbert looks to be putting on some serious size and at 7’ft. 2″in. he could be nearing 300 pounds in the future. There have been a couple of NBA players who’ve weighed more than 300 pounds. I think that Hibbert could get to the 300 pound club to make him the 14th player since 1990 to eclipse that mark.

PED Use Not Only a Problem in Major League Baseball but in The NFL Too

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In the wake of the Alex Rodriguez PED circus I thought that it would be relevant to discuss the NFL players that have been suspended for parts of the 2013-2014 NFL regular season.  Now understand that the MLB and NFL do have separate rules regarding PED’s but what it boils to is players trying to gain an edge over their opponents no matter the sport.

Jo-Lonn Dunbar – Linebacker- St. Louis Rams – 4 Games

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A Boston College graduate that was part of the New Orleans Saints 2009 Super Bowl Champion team.  Dunbar was pegged to be the starting middle linebacker for the St. Louis Rams week one but his four game suspensions handed down from the league for PED use will put that on hold until week 5.  St. Louis’s defense is good but no team can afford to lose a guy who they are depending on to be a starter and I believe that the Rams will suffer from his lose.

Asa Jackson – Cornerback – Baltimore Ravens – 8 Games

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Jackson was an unknown on the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl Champion team of 2012 and maybe the departure of a lot of defensive veterans pressure him to up his performance and take PED’s.  Truthfully I cannot tell you why Jackson took PED’s but what I can tell you is that he won’t be receiving a paycheck for eight weeks.  This is Jackson’s second violation of the NFL’s PED policy as he also tested positive for Adderall in 2012 serving a four game suspension.  When will Jackson get the message?

Bruce Irvin – Outside Linebacker – Seattle Seahawks – 4 Games

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Irvin is the best player on this list and the Seahawks are going to suffer from him not playing the first four games of the 2013 season.  Irvin is coming off his rookie season where he recorded 8 sacks and going into this year Pete Carroll was looking for Irvin to be the number one pass rusher on the Seattle front line.  Unfortunately that will have to wait until after the Seahawks week four matchup against the Texans to get on the field.

DeMarcus Love – Left Tackle – Minnesota Vikings – 4 Games

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The most Love has done in his career that is relevant to anyone is he protected Ryan Mallet’s blind side at Arkansas.  Love’s professional career has not gone well after being drafted by the Vikings in the 6th round of the 2011 draft.  He was inactive for the entire 2011 season and in 2012 Minnesota took Matt Kalil with their first pick in the 2012 draft and has not only taken Love’s position at left tackle but also gave Kahlil his number 75.  Don’t think the absence of Love is going to hurt the Vikings performance in the first four games.

Will Hill – Safety – New York Giants – Four Games

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Mr. Hill is also a second offender of the NFL’s and got off a little easier than Asa Jackson who I spoke about earlier.  Hill didn’t receive a greater punishment from the NFL this time because he violated a different violation of the leagues PED policy (whoopie!!!).  Last season Hill tested positive for Adderall and was suspended four games.  This time around it was a different drug that has not been named by the media or NFL yet but some speculate it is Marijuana.  Hill was looking to be in the dime packages for the Giants but now has to deal with this suspension.

Weslye Saunders – Tight End – Indianapolis Colts – 8 Games

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Weslye (no that is not a typo) is another second time offender of the NFL PED policy and he is not getting off as easy as Will Hill.  Saunders is being hit with an 8 game suspension for his second positive test of a drug that has yet to be disclosed but is definitely on the list of drugs that the NFL does not allow.  In 2012 as part of the Pittsburgh Steelers was suspended four games for using Adderall and following the newest 8 game suspension for Saunders he was cut by the Indianapolis Colts.  Struggling there buddy, try and work a little harder and maybe you’ll make a team.

Gabe Miller – Tight End – Chicago Bears – 4 Games

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Miller was recently signed by the Chicago Bears off of their practice squad to fill the hole left at third tight end spot on the depth chart.  The drug Miller was using to violate the NFL PED policy is unknown but if he’s taking it and he’s only on the practice squad than I would suggest pursuing a career in another field.  Miller is probably the most irrelevant guy on this list right in front of DeMarcus Love.

That rounds out the list for now but I am sure that I will be adding names to this list as the season goes on.  Von Miller is waiting to hear from the league about his appeal of his suspension for drug use in the coming weeks.

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